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Morning Hour

Series/Special. The House meets for Morning Hour, during which members speak on a variety of topics. New. (Stereo)

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01:01:00

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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America 14, U.s. 8, California 8, Mississippi 8, Us 6, George Berry 5, Korea 5, Sandy 4, United States 4, Afghanistan 4, Florida 4, Pennsylvania 3, Tunisia 3, Kathleen Sebelius 3, Obama Administration 3, Mr. Speaker 3, Dr. Roe 2, Ms. Matsui 2, Ms. Kaptur 2, Mr. Zimmerman 2,
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  CSPAN    Morning Hour    Series/Special. The House meets for Morning Hour, during  
   which members speak on a variety of topics. New. (Stereo)  

    October 29, 2013
    10:00 - 11:01am EDT  

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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the director of the economic council gene speerling talks sly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., october 29, 2013. hereby appoint the honorable chris collins to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2013, the
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chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip each, to five minutes but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, for five minutes. mr. schiff: mr. speaker, for nearly three years, the arab middle east, an enormous arc stretching from the atlantic to the indian ocean, has been in turmoil, millions frustrated by a lack of economic opportunity, repressive politics and a social structure often at odds
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with the modernity, have taken to the streets demanding change. their future hangs in the balance with the former regimes on one side and the religious rule on the other. faced with these daunting realities, the obama administration maybe in the midst of a strategic re-evaluation of our role in the region, one that is far more modest in ambition, more temp rate in expectation and use of the diplomatic, not military resources. this stands in stark contrast of the george w. bush administration to deliver a freedom agenda sometimes through the barrel of a gun that would bring democracy to a region that has known mostly misrule. that doctrine or its application proved entirely unworkable as the society's freed of their authoritarian shackles had nothing on which to build. we may be relearning this in libya as well. these setbacks and the realization that democracy
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building is a generational undertaking must not lead us to disengage from the region. the forces freed by the arab spring will not be contained, and i still believe they can lead hundreds of millions of people to more representative forms of government, more economic opportunity and we must hope more tranquility and peace within their borders. the united states needs to help build institutions capable of supporting a transition in the arab world and three dimensions, political, economic and civil society. unmet economic needs are the most pressing. at its heart, the arab spring is the expression of discontent of millions of arabs that sees the economic opportunity that the outside world offers but its own economic is plagued by stagnation, mismanagement and cronyism. the cure is not outright assistance, which will do little to unleash or occupy long-term the energies of the
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arab youth. it is investment that will allow this generation of arabs to have antiquated economies into the 21st century. ince the ouster of ben ali and mubarak, we will allow to direct resources at specific sectors that can help drive economic growth as well as improve the quality of life for ordinary people. in coming years, these economies will need to boost sustained workers and families and provide economic situations for sustainibility. but that can't be an excuse to put off political reform now, because capital flows will not resume until investors have some confidence that their money is safe. and periences both egypt tunisia, both countries emerged from their respective
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revolutions with energized islamist movements that -- in large measure because the old government left political islamist governments as the only viable alternative. and in both countries, this experiment failed as a result of overreaching and a misreading of the people's wishes, a development that should ease the fears of those who see a green wave sweeping across the middle east. the dysfunction in both cairo and tunis and the egyptian military's deposing of president meemed morsi in a oupe ensures that a democratic outcome is not assumed or the united states must stand to assist arab nations with long-term institution building that are necessary preconditions for democracy. in tunisia, which is small, relatively prosperous and not nearly as divided as somer
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neighbors, transfer of power from the current government that would oversee elections are not entirely well. but while a framework for the installation of a caretaker government remains, squabbling between the islamists and the secular opposition has slowed the progress and reintroduced uncertainty into tunisia's fragile politics. political institution building and creating a culture of good governance will require targeted assistance, training programs and a lot of patience. egypt and tunisia may be a mess now, but 10 years from now will not be the same as they are today, and we can play a role in helping to shape that future. think of some of the other countries that have democratized in recent years in eastern europe, asia and latin america. the transitions have not been quick or smooth, and many of them are still ongoing. amid the euphoria of the collapse of the communist block in europe, we thought we were
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at a end of history -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker, thank you very much. at this point in our nation's history, i believe both parties will acknowledge that we have major economic issues facing our country. as congress just recently came to a temporary resolution which raised the debt ceiling by $230 billion, it is incredible to me that we still found $30 billion in aid to send to afghanistan and $1.6 billion in aid to send to pakistan. mr. speaker, at a time when america's drowning in debt, this is completely unacceptable, and even more important than the money are the american lives that have been lost. since the time the government -- six since the time the government shut down and one the weekend after.
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as we work to fix our problems, we must follow the lead of the nations, gland and russia, only two examples, and stop wasting lives, money on a country that will never change. history tells us that it is time to bring our troops home. want to thank abs for their "abc news" each sunday morning to tell the names of those that have died. they have added seven names to this list over the last three weeks. mr. speaker, on the poster beside me are the faces of two little girls, stephanie and eden, whose father, sergeant kevin balanceder, from camp jeune -- balder, from camp lejeune marine base, another,
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also in my district, were trying to train the afghans to be policemen. one of the trainees turned their pistol and killed both of them so these little girls are standing at arlington with their mama holding hands. perhaps more disheartening is two of the most recent deaths in afghanistan also were examples of afghans killed -- that we were trying to train killing americans who were trying to help him. mr. speaker, a few weeks ago i spoke on the floor about an article i read titled "the forgotten war" by ann jones. i'd like to submit for the article an article written by an iraq war veteran who now attends the university of southern california which he entitled "afghan war must end immediately." i ask unanimous consent that i might submit this for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. jones: thank you. mr. speaker, both of these articles hold the same
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conclusion. the war in afghanistan is a misuse of american youth, american money and american military power. it is time for the congress of the united states to face the fact that we have our own problems here in america. to send money, over $600 billion to afghanistan, to build roads, schools, utility plants so the taliban can blow them up makes no sense. it is time for little girls, like these two, to have their dadies at home and not have their -- daddies at home and not have their daddies in a coffin. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. thank you for this opportunity. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. matsui, for five minutes. ms. matsui: thank you, mr. speaker.
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i rise today -- to recognize the one-year anniversary of superstorm sandy. today, we remember those who lost their lives during this catastrophe and salute those who continue the rebuilding efforts. one year ago, sandy ravaged the east coast, producing devastating floods and widespread power outages, disrupting cellular phone networks and transit networks. as a whole, the renal suffered over $65 billion in economic losses. families lost their homes, their precious momentos and reminders of their daily lives. communities lost their businesses and tragically, some individuals lost their lives. while the east coast was a primary victim of sandy, extreme weather knows no boundaries. other communities around our country are not immune from
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suffering the same fate. floods, hurricanes, wildfires and droughts are becoming all too common, all too intense and all too costly. these events will continue to wreak economic havoc and uproot families unless we take meaningful action to address climate change. in california, climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme heat and prolonged drought, placing millions of californians at greater risk of public health threats such as heat-related sickness, forest fires and water scarcity. at home, my constituents live under the constant threat of flooding, which is why i work relentlessly to strengthen our levees and upgrade our infrastructure. if extreme weather cause a levee to be breached in sacramento, the damage will be similar to that experience in new orleans. mr. speaker, events like sandy can happen anywhere.
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they don't just threaten the coast, but all communities and all states. events like sandy can happen at anytime and are happening with alarming frequency. this was not an isolated event that happens every decade. we cannot continue to sit back and wait for the next disaster to happen pfer we take action. the -- before we take action. the time to act is not a year from now, not a month from now, not even a day from now. the time to act is today. we must implement preventative measures to make our communities more resilient and be proactive in addressing climate change, the root cause of extreme weather events. only then will will we be able to -- will we be able to ensure that the legacy of sandy is one f action and not despair and procrastination. i yield back. thank you.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. speaker, over the past few weeks, it's become obvious that we are watching nothing less than the collapse of the american health care system. millions of americans are losing their health mans and set adrift -- plans and set adrift where they can't find comparable, affordable policies. few are signing up on the obamacare exchanges. how few, we don't know, because the numbers are so embarrassing the administration refuses to report them. there are published reports that some 80% of the signups are pushed into the medicaid system which is itself nearing functional collapse as doctors simply opt out. those that are able to keep their health plans are seeing their premiums skyrocket to unaffordable extremes. those who find affordable
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policies, often discover they are losing their trrs. many employers are dropping their -- their doctors. many employers are dropping their policies, laying off workers trying to cope with increased costs. a constituent of mine reports her employer cut her salary 23% as he tries to cope with obamacare costs. the obamacare website is a monument to governmental incompetence. this is a website designed to sell a single product that's been under development for more than three years at a taxpayer cost of more than $600 million, more than was spent to develop facebook or twitter, and it does not work. but that's not the big problem. . that's not the big problem. today's problem is there are a lot fewer people with health insurance than when the program began less than one month ago. this is the disaster the republicans tried to prevent or at least to delay.
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but that disaster is now unfolding before our eyes with dire consequences for millions of americans. with all its flaws, the american health care system was the finest in the world. it was the most innovative, the most advanced, the most adaptable, and the most responsive to the individual needs of patients. and now we are losing it. the one question i keep hearing is, what do the republicans propose? in fact, republicans have had a comprehensive alternative for years, spearheaded by dr. tom price of georgia, and dr. phil roe of tennessee, and sponsored by the republican study committee, this package would bring within the reach of every american a health plan that they could choose according to their own individual needs of their own families. that they could own and that they could control. but this package has never passed the house and it's high time that it did. it extends the same tax breaks we currently give to companies
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to employees so they can afford to buy their own health care again, according to their own needs. it expands health savings accounts so people can meet their needs with pretax income. it restores to people the freedom to shop across state lines to find the best policies to suit their needs. it restores flexibility so that health plans can accommodate people with pre-existing conditions, while expanding risk pools to provide for those conditions. it attacks cost drivers like medical liability law that are making health care unaffordable. it restores pricing flexibility to plans so a healthy young person can again purchase catastrophic insurance for next to nothing. it takes the best of the american health care system, preserves it, and corrects its flaws. i realize the senate's likely to bury this reform as it has so many, but it's important that the house pass it so that the american people can see that there is still hope to save what was once the finest health care
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system in the world and can be again as soon as this favored dream of obamacare finally breaks. we have just been through a government shutdown because democrats refused even to consider delaying the obamacare train wreck. they got their way, and that train wreck is now upon us. i believe in the coming months the american people will recognize the urgent warnings that the republicans tried so desperately to convey. and they'll be looking for a way out. we need to blaze that trail now. for that reason i rise to ask the house leadership to bring the republican health care reforms to the floor, get them to the senate, and then let the american people decide. mr. speaker, freedom works. it's time we put it back to work. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i started my day with my friend and colleague, dr. phil roe, republican congressman from tennessee, we met with representatives from the american academy of hospice and palliative medicine. these dedicated professionals deal with helping patients and their families contend with some of the most difficult circumstances any of us will ever face. loved ones in pain, with difficult medical conditions at the end of life. we were discussing legislation that dr. roe and i have co-sponsored, the personalize your health care act of 2013, h.r. 1173. despite widespread agreement in principle that individuals should be fully involved with decisions related to their health care, too often this is not the reality. most adults have not completed an advanced directive. if documents are completed, they are not regularly revisitted and can be difficult to locate when
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needed. because these issues are difficult to discuss, often surrogates feel ill prepared to interpret their loved ones written wishes. these shortcomings leave families and health care proxies faced with the burden of determining their loved ones wishes in the midst of crisis, adding greater stress and anxiety. one of the great misconceptions about advanced care planning is that it's a one-time event. attempting to plan for all the possibilities in a single document within a single conversation is both overwhelming and impossible. for advanced care planning to be successful, it must become less about legal documentation and more about facilitating ongoing communication about the future care wishes among individuals, their health care providers, and their family. this approach recognizes that documents like advanced directives and physician orders for life sustaining treatment are not the end but the means, the tools for documenting care
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preferences based on informed decisions that incorporate an individual's values, personal goals, and current circumstance. this process not only provides higher quality care, but personalized care. this is the right time to embrace this simple, commonsense reform. i stepped out of a hearing going on in ways and means about the affordable care act which has basically become a contest, ongoing soap opera, not an effort to fix the expensive health care system that too often delivers mediocre results but instead use it as a political tug of war. the personalize your health care act is way out of this cul de sac. it's way that we can come together to empower families to know what they face, understand their choices, make their wishes known, and assure their wishes are respected. i strongly urge my colleagues to join dr. roe and me to
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co-sponsor h.r. 1173, personalize your care act. and work with us to guarantee this important protection for all of american families. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the administration puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide. no more illegal wiretapping of citizens. no more ignoring the law when it's convenient. that is not who we are. that is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. we will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of sub born rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary. this administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our own security.
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it's not. mr. speaker, those are the words of senator barack obama in 2007. but that was then, this is now. the n.s.a., national spy agency, as i call it, is continuing its stealth intrusion into the lives of not only americans but foreign leaders as well. that senator obama once talked about. the n.s.a. has been caught evening dropping on the germans, french, and now news reports say 60 million phone calls in spain were monitored by n.s.a. a bit more history about the n.s.a. and their spying. the department of justice stealthly seized information from 20 different associated press reporters or press phone lines, including some in the u.s. capitol, right up there. the department of justice stealthly seized phone records of fox news reporter, james rosen, his parents, and several
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fox news phone lines. in the month of january of 2013 billion phone calls were monitored worldwide, and at least three billion of them were phone calls in america. the n.s.a. stealthly seized from verizon business network services millions of telephone records, including the location, numbers, and time of domestic calls. a secret government program called, prism, allowed the n.s.a. to search photos, emails, and documents from computers at apple, google, and microsoft, among many other internet sources. n.s.a. and the snoop and spy caucus say this spying on americans and our allies is necessary to catch the terrorists. they even claim terrorist
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attacks had been prevented. well, if this is true, show the evidence. evidence. prove it. where are the terrorists that have been thwarted by these surveillance tendenscies. even if it is true, which i doubt, it still violates the law. my opinion, it violates the patriot act. the patriot act doesn't allow for this nonsense. it violates the constitutional right of privacy, mr. speaker. it violates the fourth amendment. and the right of persons to be secure in their homes, papers, and effects without government intrusion. government cannot use the old soviet-style dragnet approach hoping to catch a big fish while also catching the emdangered species of freedom. those who argue otherwise say they must seize the whole haystack to finded needle in the haystack. mr. speaker, that is exactly what is prevented in the fourth amendment. i would like to quote the fourth
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amendment. the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. the fourth amendment specifically prohibits government from seizing the whole haystack defined the one needle. mr. speaker, the american people have lost trust in government. it's time for congress to intervene to prevent the invasion of privacy by government against the citizens. the federal government must stop redlining the fourth amendment. according to the administration official, the president did not sign off on this stuff and was unaware of the depth of the surveillance of foreign leaders. who did sign off? mr. speaker, is there a shadow
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government in america that operates outside the law? outside the knowledge of the administration? sort of spooky, isn't it, mr. speaker? technology may change but the constitution does not. we cannot have security -- we can have security but not at the cost of losing individual freedom, because to quote the constitutional law professor, there should be no choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: thank you. mr. speaker, politico recently reported that the u.s. trade representative, michael foman, is pressing for another trade bill as soon as possible. this one called the transpacific partnership signed with asian pacific countries, about a dozen of them. whether it's the obama administration, the bush first or bush second administration,
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or clinton administration, the executive branch continues to push the same old failed trade model that puts foreign involvements in multinational interests ahead of america's workers and america's businesses. in fact, these deals have cost america millions and millions of jobs as our trade deficit continues to get worse. this is particularly disturbing, this proposal for a new trade deal, because if you look at the results of the first obama administration trade deal, the korean deal, you'll see the proof is in the pudding that things didn't get better, they actually got worse. we were told with the korean free trade deal, that america would create 70,000 jobs here at home. guess what? the fact is in reality with the korean free trade deal, america's lost another 40,000 jobs as a result of that agreement alone.
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that's about 4,000 jobs lost each month with -- because of the korean free trade deal. we were promised with the korean deal that our economy would grow through increased exports by $10 billion to $11 billion. well, guess what? in reality u.s. exports to korea have actually declined by roughly 800 million since the agreement took effect. yes, that's a 20% decline. that translates into lost jobs and lost income. america was told if we signed the korean trade agreement that actually our trade deficit would shrink. well, guess what? the month the korean trade agreement took effect, the u.s. trade deficit with korea was $564 billion, it's nearly tripled to $1.6 billion. adding to this sea of red trade deficit ink. we were told that america would
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actually level the playing field in the field of automotive trade if we passed the korean free trade deal. i didn't vote for it. but guess what? since the korean agreement took effect, u.s. exports of motor vehicles to korea have gone up monthly by, guess what? how much? 44 cars. 44 cars. that's it. at the same time, guess how many more cars the koreans are shipping in here? 20,000. . all told they have imported over a million cars to the united states. these really big bars here since the agreement took effect. meanwhile, we have only exported 34,000. 34,000. that's a 44: 1 advantage on korea's side. why model the new t.p.p. on that agreement? it isn't working.
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the sad thing is the american people have been told these same free trade agreements for the past century, past quarter centuries, all the lies contained in them have been a sea of red inc. that's costing s -- red ink that's costing us jobs. mr. speaker, it's time for congress to stop these bad trade deals. focus on creating jobs inside our country. i call on republican leaders to sideline the transpacific partnership deal, bring up my bill, the balancing trade act, as a start. this legislation would require the administration to outline actions to balance the trade deficit with every single country that we have a trade deficit with, including korea. country by country. america can then begin to create jobs in this country at a level that the american
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people expect, a vibrant economy here at home and grow our middle class forward, not backward. mr. speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the american ople have come all too accustomed to government glitches which has result from government that's grown too large, too bureaucratic and too difficult to navigate. every day with a dedicated and compassionate staff, i send constituents to challenge the bureaucracy of the federal government. on a daily basis, we attempt to problem solve issues that citizens face when seeking resolutions on issues with federal agencies, agencies such as the internal revenue service, the environmental
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protection agency, veterans affairs or fema, just to name just a few. the frustrations and difficulties created as unintended consequences of the affordable care act have dramatically expanded how large and damaging government ghitches can be. -- glitches can be. the website glitches are just icing on the cake. over the last several years, the broken promises have continued to mount. one of the more glaring broken promises was reported yesterday when americans found out they won't be able to keep the plan they have despite what the president has opinion telling us. yesterday, nbc news aired a report that sources involved in the affordable care act have admitted, and i quote, that 50% to 75% of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individualcally can expect to receive -- individually can expect to receive a cancellation letter because their existing policies don't meet the standards mandated by the new health care
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law, end quote. and one reported that the number could reach as high as 80%. of the four nbc sources said that many of these -- those forced to buy pricier new policies will have a sticker shock. while many are shocked by the cancellation of their health insurance, the obama administration has known of this government glitch for at least three years. mr. speaker, the so-called affordable care act has been anything but affordable. prices continue to rise on insurance premiums and the cost of care nationally continues to go up. mr. speaker, this law has intended to expand access and quality, yet in pennsylvania children are being forced out of the children health insurance program, commonly known as p.a. chip, and going into medicaid insurance.
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it's low cost market-based insurance coverage. moving them to medicaid coverage will limit their access to care. given the mounting evidence of glitches in obamacare's rollout, affordability and individual choice, you have to wonder about what the future holds. from the missed deadlines, delays and special waivers to now website crashes and americans losing the plans they have, the outcomes we are encountering with this law are completely unacceptable. mr. speaker, it is time for the administration to delay and fix all these glitches that are so evident in the affordable care act. it's time for the obama administration to do the right thing. the american people deserve as much. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. honda, for five minutes. mr. honda: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. speaker, let me
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just be a little uplifting today. i rise today to wish my friends and colleagues a happy devali. it is this sunday, november 3, and it signifies the lunar new year. it is a rich cultural history. it celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. it is one of the biggest festivals for-dues, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness. the festival is celebrated for five continuous days where the fifth day is celebrated as the many festival or festival of lights. this holiday commemorates the return from 14 years of exile after defeating the demon. different colorful varieties of fire works are always associated with this festival. people shoot fire works to
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drive away evil spirits. people light up lamps and candles all around their house. these lamps are kept on during the house and people clean their houses to welcome the goddess of wealth into their homes. it is set to bring prosperity and happiness to people in the new year. during the festival, they wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. they perform a ceremony owe in the evening and seek divine blessings. the festival is never complete without exchange of gifts. people present gifts to all near dear ones. it is an official holiday in giama, toe nka, bago, malaysia, singapore and fiji. it is one of the most important holidays in the indian culture
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and a time for families to reunite and enjoy one another's company. i ask my colleagues to join me in the celebration, the festival of lights. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, for five minutes. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize the craftsmanship of george berry sr. george's life has been dedicated to wood carving. this interest began at a young age and developed into a life-long pursuit and it displays his passion for nature. george is not only -- has not only been committed to his art but has become an important fixture within the local art community in mississippi and he's been recognized both
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within this community and outside of it with several distinguished awards. through his passion for art and education, george berry sr. has made a tremendous impact on many mississippiians and others throughout this country. george was born in oklahoma and at the age of 6, george was taught wood carving by his father. he moved to mississippi in 1972 to teach industrial arts at the piney woods school, an historically african-american school located in rankin county, mississippi. a year later he became a charter member of a program created to create folk art within the state. after retiring from piney woods in 1984, george berry has dedicated a majority of his time to wood carving. even so, he continues to spend a great deal of his time teaching others. george teaches weekly classes for the mississippi craftsman skill and frequently instructs student at the allison wells
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student of arts in cranton, mississippi. additionally, he's taught at the john c. campbell folk school in brasstown, north carolina. george berry's preference in style is reflected in his large body of work. his realistic depictions of nature are the constant theme in his artwork. many of his wood pieces represent mississippi wildlife ith words such -- work such as catfish, dogs. leaves are other staples of his artwork. his skillful craft is the grace and rustic beauty that is found in nature. this mississippi craftsman has been recognized with many awards and honors. george berry received a folk artist fellowship from the mississippi arts commission in 1999 and in 2002, he was presented with the prestigious governor's award for excellence in the arts. the craftsman guild of mississippi awarded him with their lifetime achievement award in 2009. and on october 18 of this year,
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i had the privilege of speaking at the celebration of the opening of the george berry sr. gallery at the cavitiesmans guild of mississippi, joining hundreds of familiar -- craftsmans guild of mississippi, joining hundreds of families. his work has been displayed at the mississippi arts festival, festival u.s.a. on the strand, the festival of pennsylvania folk life bicentennial and the mississippi pavilion at the world's fair. his carved wood sculptures are on exhibits including the old capitol museum in jackson, mississippi, and the museum of natural science. george has been featured in many national shows such as southern living. -- e accolades are a test testament. i would like to recognize mr. george berry sr. on his achievements both as an artist
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and as a teacher. for more than 50 years, george has used his god-given gift as a skillman craftsman to make beautiful pieces of art. today he continues to graciously share his knowledge and skill with many others. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon
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health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius will appear before a house committee tomorrow. the house energy and commerce committee, that is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. eastern. a couple of other hearings to mention, this afternoon, national intelligence director, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius will appear before a house committee tomorrow. the house energy and commerce committee, that is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. eastern. a couple of other hearings to mention, this afternoon, national intelligence director, james clapper along with nsa director general keith ellison xander will testify about the nsa surveillance program following recent revelations that the agency spied on foreign leaders and that will be live on c-span three afternoon at 1:00 30. -- at 1:30 p.m.. the mother of trayvon martin is one of the ones testifying on stand your ground defense laws calling for states to qualify their standards which vary and are applied inconsistently. this is live coverage on c-span. >> young trayvon martin sought to defend himself because i strongly suspect that mr. zimmerman could not apprehend any lawful reason for a young black male to walk through his middle-class neighborhood. to mr. zimmerman, the blackness served as a crude roxy for criminality. this unfortunate outcome sends a twofold message. first, it tells floridians they can incorrectly profile lung --
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young brack -- young black children, kill them, and be protected by standard ground laws. it sends a more ominous message to young black children for it consider myself fortunate to live in a jurisdiction that does not have stand your ground laws. what if it did? i have an african-american son who is just shy of his 13th birth date whose name ironically is trey. what advice would you give him? ie only responsible advice if lived in a standard grandeur is diction would be that if he ever felt seriously threatened by a stranger, that he would have to use all reasonable force up to and including lethal force in order to protect himself. because i would rather my trey be alive and able to argue that he stood his ground then dead and portrayed by lawyers, the media, and present company excluded, politicians, as some stereotypical black male criminal.
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this is not a desirable america for anyone and i don't want my son growing up in such an america. i respectfully suggest that states passed laws that permit police and citizens to go about the business of eldon communities. thank you. >> thank you professor sullivan. our next witness is david labon, the president and ceo of the association of prosecuting attorneys, national association representing elected deputy and assistant prosecutors. previously, he was director of the american prosecutors research institute police and co go and executive director of the california district attorneys association. he was also a deputy district attorney and aren't and humble -- in orange and humboldt county in california and received his jd from western state university. please proceed. >> good morning. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. i am the president of the association of prosecuting attorneys. we are a private nonprofit
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theion to enhance effectiveness of prosecutors to create safer communities. we are the only national organization to represent and include appointed elected as well as their deputies and assistance. i am pleased to have the opportunity to address the issues surrounding this expansion of self-defense referred to as stand your ground. we seek to do justice for victims and hold those accountable for their actions especially in cases where lives have been violently ended. since 2009, apa has tracked the legislative progression of stand your ground and assisted prosecutors's enforcing these laws. i have attached to my testimony is. -- our statement of principles these laws have raised a number of troubling and dangerous concerns. overwhelminglye oppose these laws. the concerns expressed included the limitation or elimination of the prosecutor's ability to hold
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capitalor models the for their acts. even with the supposition, many states have passed stand your ground laws and many of these laws include provisions that diminish or eliminate the common law duty of retreat and changed the burden of proof regarding reasonableness of innocence. by expanding the realm in which violent acts with the justification self defense, stand your ground laws have negatively affected public safety and undermine prosecutorial law enforcement opportunities. capital they've undermine standard lease procedures and prevented law enforcement from detaining criminals and stymied killingors even when somebody in the course of lawful activity. some states of interpret the law to create a new procedural hurdle in the form of immunity hearings which transforms the decision from the jury to the judge. there is an inconsistent application throughout the states and even within their respective states. prosecutors, judges, police officers and ordinary citizens of the been left to guess which behavior is legal and criminal.
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even with the best efforts, defendants and victims families and friends and investigators, prosecutors, defense attorneys have been forced into a situation and what they cannot expect. stand your ground laws revised safe haven for criminals and prevent prosecutors from running cases -- from bringing cases after others kill others. in a florida case in 2008, a drug dealer jailed to men in two separate incidents is. the first was drug-related and the second was retaliation. though he was engaged in illegal activities, prosecutors engaged -- determined these were both justified. this example is not an anomaly. a recent study concluded the majority of defendants shielded bystander ground laws at arrest records prior to their homicide issue. stand your ground expansion began in florida in 2005. it is our position that common law sufficiently protected evils rights to defend themselves.
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the proper use of prospect. the properties of prosecutorial -- after reviewing legislative history, the case used to justify this measure involves no arrest or prosecution. the law enforcement committee responded properly to the shooting and the homeowner was arrested or charged in his lawful exercise of self-defense. because the provisions of standard ramblers vary from state to state, i will attempt to summarize some of the causedons which has prosecutors's difficulty. first, the meaning of unlawful activity needs to be clarified. many states have extended stand your ground protection to people who were in a place they have a right to be and not engaged in a lawful activity. can a drug dealer defend his open-air drug market? if an individual is a felon, does he have a right to kill another with a firearm? want to encourage cooperation with law enforcement and the judicial system.
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we should clarify that self- defense is an affirmative defense for the replacement of presumptions with inferences will eliminate many of the dangerous effects. this with an object of standard will improve caused prosecutors's difficulty. accountability while protecting the right of self-defense for the statute should be amended to prevent the to plead self-defense. stand your ground justifies killing a person that was attacked. finally, we recommend the lobby limited so that it cannot be raised when the victim is a law enforcement officer regardless of actual knowledge. the statute should be amended that stand your ground should not be applicable against a law officer acting within the course of their duties. i believe these reforms will help minimize the detrimental effects of the standard ground was. of the stand your ground laws. will respect the rights of
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law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families. thank you for holding this hearing and, as i have been sitting here, i want to reflect that the decision to take a life , one of the most solemn decisions and a person can ever make or be faced with, should not be taken lightly. policies should not encourage one to take a life of another. once that event occurs and having prosecuted take -- cases dealing with victims families, both lives are forever changed. the individual who makes the decision as well as the victims family. thank you. >> thank you. our next witness is elie shapiro from the cato institute. he was a special assistant advisor to the multinational force in iraq on the rule of law issues and was an attorney in private practice. mr. shapiro received an undergraduate degree from princeton, a masters from the london school of economics, and a law degree from the university
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of chicago law school. he clerked for judge grady jolly of the fifth circuit court of appeals. >> thank you for this opportunity to discuss the right to arm and self-defense. it is most appropriate this hearing was originally scheduled for september 17, marking the anniversary of the constitution signing. public schools have to teach about our founding document on that day. my organization which is not publicly funded celebrates constitution day by releasing our supreme court review. in reality, every day is constitution day so please excuse me if i have to leave to the national constitution center and philadelphia to discuss the issues attending the debt ceiling debate. stand your ground is -- is misunderstood. it allows people to defend themselves without having a so- called duty to retreat.
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that content has been part of u.s. law for 150 years. about 31 states, depending who you count, now have some type of stand your ground doctrine. the vast majority in common law before legislators took any action. some, like california and virginia, maintain it without any legislation still. of the 15 states that have passed stand your ground since 2005, a majority have democratic jennifercluding granholm, janet napolitano, and kathleen sebelius. louisiana and west virginia past them with democratic control of both houses. even florida supposedly passed the state senate unanimously. when illinois strengthened its long-standing law in 2004, state senator barack obama cosponsored the bill that was then unanimously approved. conversely, many so-called red states impose a duty to retreat. even more restrictivethat state, courts have held that retreat is not required when preventing serious crime. it's a universal principle that a person can use force when he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to defend against an imminent use of unlawful force. there is no duty to retreat.
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she is further justified in using deadly force if she reasonably believes it necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. the florida law is no different. it is not an easy defense to assert. it certainly does not mean you can shoot first and ask west is later. these laws are not a license to be a vigilante or behave recklessly. they just protect law-abiding citizens from having to leave the place were they are allowed to be. that's why this debate is not new. in ancient britain, when the deadliest weapons soarded a write to retreat was enforced. the king of a duty to protection to his subject for it that is obvious enough part of our tradition. despite what one prohibitionists claim, that no retreat rule has deep roots in american law. at the supreme court, it dates to the unanimous 1895 case. in places with the duty to retreat, crime victims can be imprisoned for defending themselves.
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that is controversial. a mugger cannot have your wallet or make you leave a public likes. among those harmed by the duty to retreat our domestic violence victims turn on their assailants. feminists support stand your ground and point out that you could have run away may not rock -- may not work with a stalker. the law is to design to protect law-abiding citizens. that's how we have the castle doctrine fall stay to recognize print it extends the doctrine to public spaces as well. it is bad enough for an innocent person to find yourself threatened by a criminal but then to have to worry about whether she can retreat unless she faces lawsuits is too much to ask. "iver wendell holmes wrote detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife." we should not demand more of crime victims. any self-defense rule there's the potential for injustice. for example, in a two-person
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altercation, one may be dead and the other dubiously claimed self-defense. these cases, like trayvon implicate the self- defense justification generally. it's george zimmerman was the aggressor than he has no self- defense rights of all. if trayvon martin attacked them, the only question is whether zimmerman reasonably believed he was endangered not whether he could have retreated. if zimmerman provoked the confrontation, he lost the protection of the standard ground law. -- stand your ground law. this committee is well familiar with this after sandy hook. while anti-come lobbyists have used that tragedy and trayvon martin to pitch all sorts of gun-control laws, what they target is the right to arm in self-defense. with stand your ground laws, prosecutors need to show evidence to counter claims of self-defense, not simply argue that the shooter should have retreated. processe who value due which should include historically mistreated minorities, that is a feature,.
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one episode that has contributed to the sensationalism surrounding this debate is the attempt to intimidate organizations with any type to the american legislative exchange council. i have submitted with the statement the letter to that effect in the response by the cato president. thank you for having me. i welcome your questions. >> thank you, mr. shapiro. our next witness is john lott, the president of a newly formed organization, the crime prevention research center. he previously served in research or teaching is a ship at the university of chicago and yale. he is the chief economist at the u.s. sentencing commission from 1988-1990. he is currently a weekly, and witnessed -- he is currently a weekly columnist. please proceed. >> thank you very much. i apologize -- stand your ground
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laws help people be able to defend themselves. the people who are most likely to be victims of violent crimes are merely poor blacks to benefit the most having the option to protect themselves. what has been lost in this discussion so far is the reason why states have adopted these laws. it requires people to retreat as far as possible creates confusion and doubt and can make it more difficult for people to go and defend themselves. blacks made up 16% of the population. of thecount for 31% states defendants invoking stand your ground laws. lack defendants who invoke statue justify their actions are acquitted almost eight percent more than whites. the tampa bay tribune has put together very detailed data on stand your ground cases. year,h july 24 of this beginning of 2006, the newspaper
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collected 112 cases. thatnformation they had often constitutes their shocking findings is that 72% of those who killed a black person face no penalties compared to 59% of those who killed a white person. 80% of those who kill the specter also not convicted. one means to remember that the vast majority of these crimes are within race. who were killed in stand your ground cases were killed by other blacks. in the case of whites, it was 85%. hispanics, and hundred percent. the basic point is if you are going to concentrate on the fact that relatively few people who kill blacks are going to be convicted using stand your ground defenses, you have to realize almost all those people

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